By Alois Vinga
THE Midlands State University (MSU) has reportedly approved a 407% tuition fees increase, in a development likely to throw the fate of many students into jeopardy, as many are already struggling to make ends meet.
A notice to students on the upward review of the fees circulated on social media and signed by one Doctor K. Mudzingwa, shows undergraduate students will now fork out between ZW$285 000 (US$453) to ZW$359 212, with Medicine and Engineering degrees being the most expensive.
Converted to foreign currency equivalency based on the official exchange rate, which is now very close to the parallel market rate, the new fee structure ranges between US$453 up to US$571 per semester.
The hike is significant considering most degrees were averaging ZW$50,000 last semester.
Postgraduate students, who were initially paying about ZW$81,000 last semester, will now pay between ZW$318,472 and a high of ZW$573,360 up to Masters level with some doctoral students sneezing ZW$1 million.
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At least 50% of the fees are expected to have been paid by the close of registration on November 4, 2022 with the remainder expected by November 25, 2022.
The condition is stringent considering that other institutions like the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) urged students to pay just 10% of the fees to register for classes.
The development flies in the face of citizens, who are earning very little amounts, which are way below the gazetted fees.
Education experts have since warned that the current exorbitant fee structures were likely to reverse the huge gains Zimbabwe has made in the education sector.
They added that, in addition to the tertiary fees hikes, the country has also recorded significant declines in Ordinary Level registrations due to high costs.